A 1876 Indian Cent was recently offered in a Superiorís January 2003. It was encapsulated by PCGS as a J1451/P1597 - a regular dies trial piece struck in nickel.
This piece is actually one of several pieces listed in the pattern references that is, in reality, a mint error struck on a planchet intended for use in the production of coinage for another country.
It is believed that this piece and the 1877 illustrated below (J1495-6/P1648-9) were struck on Venezuelan 1 Centavo planchets. These pieces should weigh approximately 36-37 grains.
The Judd, Pollock and Adams and Woodin books contain many listings for Indian Cents struck in either nickel or copper-nickel that are not patterns. These pieces, especially those after 1876 from business strike dies, are actually mint errors struck on either 3 Cent Nickel planchets or one of the following foreign planchets:
Those struck on the smaller 3 Cent Nickel planchets, as on the 1881 illustrated piece above, will show some of the peripheral design missing whereas those struck on one of the foreign planchets such as the 1877 below will appear full-sized.
The following table list the years where at least some or all of the known nickel/copper-nickel pieces are actually mint errors.
Other dates not listed may also be as well. We recommend collectors examine these pieces carefully. If any of our members have additional information on these, please e-mail Saul Teichman.